As Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao's condition deteriorated on the 11th day of his fast-unto-death Wednesday, tension spiralled in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region with prohibitory orders being imposed and police taking control of universities to quell protests for a separate state.
Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were imposed in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana were imposed under Section 144.
For the second consecutive day, TRS stalled the proceedings of the state assembly Wednesday demanding that it pass a resolution for a separate state of Telangana.
Speaker Kiran Kumar Reddy adjourned the house for 15 minutes as TRS legislators, supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), gathering near his podium.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told the house that the central government was considering the issue of a separate Telangana and that it should be given time.
'It is a sensitive issue. The government has to act responsibly. We can't just table a resolution like that,' he said.
In Delhi, senior Congress leaders continued hectic talks to find a solution. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P. Chidambaram elicited opinions of various leaders from Andhra Pradesh and conveyed the same to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Congress sources here said a decision was likely Wednesday. The party may give an assurance to the TRS chief and convince him to call off his fast.
Hundreds of policemen encircled Osmania University, the nerve centre of the movement for a separate state here, to foil student plans to conduct a rally Thursday.
Tension prevailed on the campus as armed policemen have been posted at all the buildings. Students who are staying on despite orders to vacate hostels are likely to be arrested.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students had planned to march to the state assembly to demand the passing of a resolution on a separate state. After the police denied them permission, they decided to conduct a peace rally up to Indira Park.
Three JAC leaders were also taken into custody last night as a precautionary measure.
'A holiday has been declared in all the colleges in the region till Dec 18 and there is no reason why any student should stay on campus,' Inspector General of Police A. R. Anuradha said.
Since, TRS also plans to mobilise its workers from neighbouring districts for the proposed rally, the government has mobilised additional police and paramilitary forces from other states.
Police have erected check posts at all the entry points to Hyderabad and asked people of other places to avoid travelling to the city Thursday.
Tension also prevailed at Kaktiya University in Warangal as policemen were deployed in large numbers to prevent any protest. A group of students who are on a hunger strike on the campus are likely to be arrested.
The authorities have already ordered closure of hostels and the mess on campus.